Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

"Renewable energies and energy optimisation are the only way out for Egypt"

Written by Propos recueillis par Safia Ouared, au CAIRE on Monday, December 9th 2013 à 11:59 | Read 1172 times


In countries like Egypt with a never-ending rise in energy consumption, energy efficiency becomes a priority. Sayed Farouk, senior vice president of The Arab Contractors, explains the steps taken by his company, which with 74,600 employees is one of the largest constructors in the Middle East and Africa, to reduce energy consumption.

Sayed Farouk, senior vice president of The Arab Contractors (photo DR)
Sayed Farouk, senior vice president of The Arab Contractors (photo DR) Is there a proper energy efficiency programme in Egypt, especially in the industrial sector?

Sayed Farouk: In order to understand the challenges that Egypt faces, you must first realise that 95% of energy sources come from fossil fuels and only 5% from renewable energy. Moreover, manufacturing uses around 40% of total available energy, and domestic demand for energy, which is rising by around 6% a year, is expected to reach approximately 135 million tonnes in 2022.
Energy optimisation in factories and the use of renewable energies remain the only available alternatives if we want to reduce the gulf between our energy production capacity and demand. The government has started to invest in these areas by creating a wind farm at Zafarana (on the Red Sea) with a full capacity of 545 MW, which would make it one of the biggest in the world, and a combined-cycle solar power plant at Kuraymat (150 km south of Cairo). Projects are under way with a view to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Can energy efficiency play a big part in job creation?

As well as offering employment opportunities for qualified workers trained in activities relating to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, investing in this area will also create jobs in the design, construction and renovation of energy-efficient buildings, and in the installation and maintenance of photovoltaic facilities.
You also have to consider the training of all people involved in planning, production and services, manufacturing energy-efficient building materials, manufacturing energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning systems, etc...

A workforce trained in energy efficiency

Zafarana Wind farm (photo CC-Youssef Alam)
Zafarana Wind farm (photo CC-Youssef Alam)
Will your company be taking any other steps with regard to energy efficiency?

We were the first company in Egypt to obtain ISO 50001 certification for energy management systems. Our junior engineers took part in EUREM1* training programmes and have presented some innovative projects, including the one on asphalt production and transportation, which won the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy's "Energy Efficiency for Private Sector" award.

The Arab Contractors has signed a draft agreement with the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce with a view to enhancing its workshops and services. Technicians and manual workers will be trained in Germany in finishing, plumbing, electrics, thermal insulation of buildings, and electrical and plumbing work for the provision of hot water using solar energy.
Seven of our engineers have been trained on the subject of energy-efficient buildings. With a view to saving energy, the company uses energy-efficient light bulbs and intends to switch its vehicles from petrol to natural gas.

*European Energy Manager: energy efficiency and renewable energy training offered with the support of the European Commission.

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Friday, December 6th 2013 - 10:00 "Lebanon has a culture of energy efficiency"

Thursday, December 5th 2013 - 15:42 Efficiency, at the heart of energy saving


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